Did you know that, according to the CDC, in 2015 about 1 in 10 babies were born too soon?
Three of my four kidlets were born before 36 weeks gestation, and those three were all growth restricted as well, which adds new complications. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and that means a lot to a mom with three preemies.
I often hear how their premature arrival has no bearing on them now, as they are now 8, 6, and 2. However, the long term effects of being born early, and missing out on those crucial weeks in the womb, can still be seen in all three kids. Sensory challenges, poor fine motor skills, anxiety, hyperactivity, small stature…..all of this can be linked to their premature birth. Gut challenges, feeding delays, speech delays…..these last for years, if not a lifetime. Is it possible that my kids would still have these challenges if they had been born on time? Sure! Absolutely! But being born early certainly set them up to face more challenges over their lifetime. As a mom, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was leave the hospital without my baby. Visiting a NICU, wearing full gown, gloves, and mask just to interact with my newborn, learning what different alarms, codes, tests, and cords meant….all of this was challenging for me, but nothing compared to what my kids have gone through.
My kids amaze me every day as they face their lives head on, barely slowing for the speed bumps that are thrown in their way. Preemies are fighters, because they have to be. They start their tiny lives off fighting for everything, including the ability to breathe and eat. Learning the mechanics of survival after being born is no easy task, but they conquered!